PhD defence

y-Aminonbutyric acid (GABA) as a potential bioactive food component: Food sources, bioavailability and effects on cardiometabolic health

PhD candidate TH (Tessa) de Bie MSc
Promotor prof.dr. RF (Renger) Witkamp
Co-promotor MA (Maarten) Jongsma
dr. MGJ (Michiel) Balvers
Organisation Wageningen University, Nutritional Biology group

Tue 13 June 2023 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Omnia
Room Auditorium


This thesis explores the potential of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a non-proteinogenic amino acid present in some food products, to benefit human health. GABA is found in plants such as tomato, potato and melon. GABA receptors are present in various organs and tissues throughout the body, suggesting that GABA may have physiologically relevant effects beyond the central nervous system. Studies have shown that GABA can have metabolic health effects in rodent models for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The thesis investigates the effects of GABA in humans, including its bioavailability and potential health benefits. The studies show that tomatoes and potatoes can potentially be good sources of GABA especially since it is tolerant to cooking and as bioavailable from a tomato food matrix as from a solution in water. Its potential benefits for sleep quality and glucose regulation in people with prediabetes should be further investigated in less exploratory trials.